Currie U-16s coach Jones aims to bow out with cup

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Currie Under-16s and their coaches will tonight take centre stage at Murrayfield Stadium in what will be a fitting backdrop to one of the most unique set-ups in Scottish youth rugby.

The Malleny Park kids take on Hawick Albion in a national cup final (kick off 6.15pm) and never mind the fact that a team captained from No. 8 by Scott McGinlay have lost only one match in four years.

Throughout this season Currie have been catering for 40 boys at this age group and it is head coach Andy Jones’ contention that no other club in Scotland can match such an achievement.

“Our record is phenomenal, there’s no denying that,” said Jones, who is stepping down tonight having worked with the youngsters over 11 years starting in the P1 mini section.

“We bought into the SRU’s long-term development programme a while ago and more satisfaction comes from being able to get youngsters out on the pitch playing rugby every week by running two teams.”

Clearly there is quality as well as quantity to work with for Jones and fellow coaches Dallas Rhodes, Dai Davies, Dougie McAndrew and Peter Fraser.

Joining skipper McGinlay in the Scottish Under-16s this season were winger Robbie Nairn, full back Saul Melvin-Farrand and inside centre Cameron Gray. In the Edinburgh age-group squad as well were second row Luke Crosbie and back row Malcolm Jack.

Both Currie and Hawick Albion have a reputation for giving the ball plenty of air and Jones added: “Currie were the last club to win the Scottish Under-15 title before it was discontinued and two years ago a Colts team captained by Fergus Scott (now at Glasgow Warriors) won the Under-18s.

“To win the Under-16s would be a first for our club and playing on the international pitch should not be too much of a change from playing at Malleny Park purely in terms of dimensions other than the in-goal area.

“We are not a big team in terms of bulk but every one of our players is taller than my 5ft 10in height and they certainly have an appetite for a fast 
flowing game.”